Positivism and interpretation in sociology: Lessons for sociologists from the history of stress research

@article{Abbott1990PositivismAI,
  title={Positivism and interpretation in sociology: Lessons for sociologists from the history of stress research},
  author={Andrew Abbott},
  journal={Sociological Forum},
  year={1990},
  volume={5},
  pages={435-458}
}
This paper examines the relation between positivistic and interpretive sociology, using the stress research literature as a case study. Analyzing the cultural history of the stress concept, it uncovers four central themes: anxiety, performance, adjustment, and mentalism. Examining the self-criticisms made by scientific students of stress, it focuses on the problems of temporal order, confounding, and interaction. Comparison of the cultural and scientific literatures shows that while some of the… CONTINUE READING

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